Thé Bleu

Pale blue frosted purse spray balanced on rim of teacup filled with Lipton and 3 springs of lavender.

Freshwater mer-folk bath salts.

The first whiff is a slippery murky green note that reminds me of okra. Thankfully, that soon slides away, washed off by fancy French laundry powder–the lavender and violets dried out by iris.

Then comes a round of decongestants in the form of minted tea, an odd sinus clearing smoke under the florals, giving everything a cool blue vibe that I sort of like, for about three hours in intimate space.

Weirdly swampy yet clean.

*

Another cool blue.

Epic Woman

Gray marbled Amouage card with sample spray. The actual bottle is bright India green with gold accents.

Big sweet spice and roses, soured up nicely with lemony geranium tea. There’s some creamy orris powder underneath, with frankincense and vanilla to turn it luxe, but the woods on the bottom keep it grounded, so it doesn’t turn into a cinnamon roll.

Elegant and gorgeous, but also weighty–Epic kind of makes me nervous, like I’d be expected to dance the tango at a moment’s notice, or that dressing in anything but silk brocade would be a disappointment, while wearing this.
(Maybe I’d prefer the cinnamon roll?)

*

An easy take on Neil Young’s epic song–

Eve

Paper test strip cutout of a square St. Claire bottle, and test vial of Eve.

Eve was finalist in the 2020 Art and Olfaction Awards within the artisan/independent category, and it’s aptly named, with enormous seductive apple trees growing out of a single drop.

Comes on strong and skanky at first, dirty jasmine that cleans up with roses as it settles down and turns to orchard blossoms. Then the whole tree fills the room, woody trunks, green leaves, and fruit.
After a few hours, powder coats everything in personal space, for the whole day, with smudges of sweet char on the cuffs until laundry day.

The 35% concentration is way too indolic for me–I feel naked wearing it (which might be the point.)
An eau de toilette would be less overwhelming.

*

Another take on Eve and the garden.

Honour

Whiskery cat nose sniffing the gold dome of a white mini Amouage bottle, and some magenta button carnations.

Pleasant white flowers at first, not a lot of personality, but sweet–then after a few minutes the tuberose and the carnation pick up the spicy notes and turn more interesting.
There’s a delicate watery feel under the florals–more morning garden dew than rainy lotus pond–that might come from the lily-of-the-valley and rhubarb; green, a little earthy.
Some resinous stuff on the bottom gives a little texture and holds the gardenia in personal space the whole day long.

I get a maternal vibe, in a young expectant mother way–pretty, but not for me.

*

This Honor isn’t watery at all.

Zanzibar

Clear rectangular bottle with offset red square cap, and cardamom pods and cloves.

Opens with green herbs that get spicy as they warm up, teasing cloves and cardamom in a mild weather linen suit way, with sandalwood and soft sweet musk at the base.
Stays in personal space with breezy trails for an hour, then disappears to elusive spice on the skin.

Subtle, elegant and warm. (The guy finds the opening a bit too masculine on me, but likes the drydown.)

Van Cleef & Arpels discontinued Zanzibar, perhaps due to the fleeting performance. Vintages can be found pretty easily, with mini bottles pretty cheap, and full sizes in the hundreds.

*

An Australian band that’s been around for forty years, and still touring. This is an early one.

Green Lover

A bit of clematis leaf and sample vial, with Lolita Lempicka promo card featuring a waterfall over green mossy rocks.

I never really thought of Shamrock Shakes as sexy, but daaamn–this is a guy’s gourmand done right.

A milky mint confection spiked with orange flavored gin–(Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla is a pretty nice one)–that elevates it out of after school detours for fast food and into high end pastry shops with a liquor license.

Lolita Lempicka’s trademark syrupy-yet-powdery vanilla musk, here turned into sweet green teasing shadows, drifts in and out of intimate space all day, whispering invitations to drinks and dessert.
Yum.

*

Incanto Dream

Pink Incanto Dream mini bottle, on a heap of clear Jolly Rancher candy with purple edged wrappers.

Pineapple Jolly Ranchers, and greasy on the skin.
Lasts two hours with no projection and stains the cuffs.

For a sweet fruity floral with a woodsy bottom, Angel Nova is a better investment, with four times the performance and six times the quality.

Or just eat the candy.

*

Another dream. This one has angsty kissing with Scott Eastwood.

Coach Poppy

Coach Poppy mini with orange ribbon bow and ball cap, on a gold daisy.

The only poppy to be found here is a possible bit of peppery sandalwood that wishes it were bagel seeds.

Another ubiquitous accessory designer candy floral.
Safe for brunch with the girls on the way to the mall.

*

This one keeps showing up on my suggestions-based-on-your-listening-tastes banner.

Pamplelune

Medium Guerlain bottle with gold beehive lattice neck and ball cap, with a mini bottle doing something suggestive to a pink grapefruit half.

Grapefruit pith in the best way, a smart bitterness that slides to sweet throughout the day.

There’s a weirdness, a uniqueness to it that is almost distracting–I’m sniffing my wrist every few seconds, wondering if it still smells the same as the last huff I took. (How much of my enjoyment is just an oxygen rush?)

The performance is a lot of fun. Begins like an herba fresca cologne, a bright wake me up of citrus zest with a tart bite of fruit, then it cools down to a few inches above the skin and stays there, slowly growing soft with vanilla, with the tenacity of an eau de parfum.

Wonderful.
Marketed to women, but would be delightful on anyone.

*

Feeling this one today.

Eau Jolie

Mini Lolita Lempicka apple bottle with gold and white ivy and stem cap with pierced heart motif, filled with pale pink eau, casting pretty shadows.

All the Lolita Lemicka sexy goodness has been stripped out and replaced with DKNY Be Disappointed.
Might be good for starting campfires.*

Edit – 8/27/21

Eau Jolie was relegated to decorative bottle shelf–but today I wondered, could this be a reasonably good perfume? Did I go into this sniff with biased expectations of my favorite design house? (Lolita Lempicka’s fashion aesthetic was a big influence, back in my costume designing days.)

And, well…
The top notes aren’t bad, just a little shrill–the pear’s sweetness is turned up one notch too far by the black currant.
The middle is some generic floral musk that’s definitely not the “coquettish heart” of the ad copy.
But there’s some reasonably nice neroli lingering with the cedar at the base for a little while.

Would I be impressed if it came from the house brand of a tweeny-bopper mall store?
Perhaps with the quality of the ingredients, but not by the blend.

*Never spray or splash perfume near an open flame.
(Crayons and dryer lint work well, too.)

*

Eau Jolie came out five eight years ago. So did Carla Bruni’s pretty little riff on Chopin.